Physical Intelligence - Sessions with Margit Galanter in Oakland

MARGIT GALANTER, MA GCFP is a movement educator, arts investigator, and dance poet living in Oakland. Her unique practice, Physical Intelligence, helps people experience the innate clarity and vitality one can uncover through the potency of movement. Physical Intelligence incorporates Margit’s expertise as a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitionercm, acupressurist, qigong practitioner, and movement artist. Margit received an MA in Movement Research and Practice from NYU’s Gallatin School in 2004. She works one-on-one with clients, teaches workshops, performs, and collaborates with practitioners from a wide range of media and disciplines. In her practices, she is committed to nourishing vivid lives.

Margit’s rich background in movement informs the depth of  the material she offers, and provides a comprehensive view of creative research and movement investigations. The primary forms she teaches include repatterning systems of The Feldenkrais Method® , acupressure and Five Elements Theory;  dance investigations such as Steve Paxton’s Material for the Spine, Lisa Nelson’s Tuning Scores, Release Techniques, and Contact Improvisation; and movement meditation forms such as qigongAmerta Movement (Javanese improvisation of Suprapto Suryodarmo) and Contemplative Dance Practice. In Feldenkrais, Margit primarily studied with her Trainer, Dennis Leri, graduating from the Semiophysics Training in 2000, and has taken advanced trainings with a wide variety of practitioners, including Carl GinsburgRussell Delman, and Larry Goldfarb. Margit has studied Chinese energetics since 1999, and her primary teacher is Micheline Bogey, and she has advanced her studies through The Acupressure Institute, as well as with intensive study with Dr. Bingkun Hu, and other practitioners such as Jason Frye, Gilles Marin, the late Liu Ming, and Janet Oliver. Margit was trained in the embodied theory of Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing and Philosophy of the Implicit, and apprenticed in dance with luminaries such as Karen Nelson, Suprapto Suryodarmo, Lisa Nelson, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Benoit LaChambre, K.J. Holmes, Stephanie Skura, Keith Hennessy, Simone Forti, Julyen Hamilton, Pearl Ubungen, Barbara Dilley, Nina Martin, Daniel Lepkoff, and Steve Paxton. She lived in Indonesia for several years, where she taught at University of Gadjah Madah and studied martial arts, traditional and contemporary dance, language and cultural studies, as well as new feminisms and worked with groups on intercultural justice. Margit stewards the lineages of the forms she practices and incorporates them into her tailor-made investigations.

In California, Margit has taught through organizations such as YMCA-OaklandLakeside Park, and East Bay Innovations; and at community studios such as Kunst-Stoff Arts, Pieter Performance (LA), Ellen Webb Studio, and Subterranean Arthouse; and throughout the East Bay in public spaces, such as Oakland parks. Margit has taught extensively and presented around the U.S., including residencies at Mills College (CA), The Poetry Center SFSU, Cal State San Marcos, Cal State San Diego, Naropa University (CO), University of Massachusetts-Amherst (MA), Macalaster College (MN), and in workshop forums such as Fresh Festival (SF), Earthdance Retreat Center (MA), Seattle Festival of Dance and Improvisation (WA), Omega Institute (NY), and multiple venues locally and abroad. Her work has been presented nationally and often incorporates teaching, performing, private sessions, and experimental lectures. She also collaborates with local practitioners and artists, curates art events, and co-teaches with Abby Crain, under the moniker Art Workouts.

Margit  finished co-directing Earthdance in 2009, a unique dance workshop and retreat center in Western Massachusetts, where she revitalized their programming and expanded and helped to redefine community definitions and cultural biases. In her tenure at Earthdance, Margit directed and co-founded several innovative forums, including the Harriet Tubman Healthy Living Project – an interracial, intergenerational gathering for arts, creative living, and critical thinking; SEEDS (Somatic Experiments in Earth, Dance, and Science) – an interdisciplinary arts and ecology festival; and Dance, Discourse, and Dining. Margit also worked collaboratively to redefine the mission, and facilitated and organized a wide range of trainings tailored to the needs of the overlapping communities that participated there. Over time, including great influences such as her work with Pearl Ubungen at Naropa, training in intersectionalities of oppression, and in earlier roots in Seattle restorative justice comunities, Margit has worked extensively in addressing racial, ecological, and social justice, and applying regenerative approaches to her artistry. She continues these values through multiple projects, including her involvement in a founding dance collective of the Omni Oakland Commons. She believes that together, we can create the world in which we seek to live.

Margit has collaborated as a dramaturg on performance projects, co-curated events such as the Movement Research Festival (NYC) and SFDI, and has worked extensively in the interdisciplinary arts and in social and racial justice movements. She has written and edited multiple articles and creative writing projects, and most recently co-edited the book Embodied Lives: Reflections on the Influence of Suprapto Suryodarmo and Amerta MovementHer chapter is called ” The Presencing Dial,” which describes an experiential account  how the modulation of presence is a valuable tool in her work as a perfomer, teacher, and practitioner of movement.

Margit’s PI Practice: Her arts site:

Margit’s CV 2015

Website Drawings by Mara Poliak; Design by Debbie Berne Design; Architecture by Arkodevo